Holy Week 2013, an overview of cathedral celebrations

It’s a bit late, but since there is an interest in it, here is the schedule for the Holy Week celebrations in the Dutch cathedrals. As ever, things may change at any time, but since this information is taken from the various diocesan websites, it should simply be accurate.

Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, Cathedral of St. Joseph:

st. joseph cathedralWednesday, 19:30: Chrism Mass
Maundy Thursday, 19:00: Mass offered by Bishop Gerard de Korte
Good Friday, 14:00: Stations of the Cross for children
Good Friday, 15:00: Stations of the Cross
Good Friday, 19:00: Service of the Passion of the Lord
Holy Saturday, 22:00: Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday, 11:00: Mass
Easter Monday, 11:00: Mass

Archdiocese of Utrecht, Cathedral of St. Elisabeth:

catharinakathedraal utrechtWednesday, 19:00: Chrism Mass (at the Church of St Mary in Apeldoorn).
Wednesday, 21:00: Tenebrae and Lauds, followed by silent prayer until 8 o’clock the next morning
Maundy Thursday, 19:30: Mass offered by Cardinal Wim Eijk
Maundy Thursday, 21:30 Tenebrae and Lauds
Good Friday, 8:00: Morning Prayers
Good Friday, 15:00: Stations of the Cross (at the church of St. Augustine)
Good Friday, 19:30: Service of the Passion of the Lord, led by Cardinal Eijk
Good Friday, 21:30: Tenebrae and Lauds
Holy Saturday, 16:00-17:00: Confession
Holy Saturday, 21:00: Easter Vigil, offered by Cardinal Eijk
Easter Sunday, 10:30: Mass offered by Cardinal Eijk
Easter Monday, 10:30: Mass

Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Cathedral Basilica of St. Bavo:

haarlembavo51Wednesday, 19:30: Chrism Mass (for both the diocese and the Military Ordinariate).
Maundy Thursday, 19:30: Mass
Good Friday, 15:00: Stations of the Cross
Good Friday, 19:30: Service of the Passion of the Lord, led by Bishop Jos Punt
Good Friday, 21:00: Tenebrae
Holy Saturday, 21:30: Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday, 10:00: Mass offered by Bishop Punt
Easter Monday, 10:00: Mass

Diocese of Rotterdam, Cathedral of Sts. Lawrence and Elisabeth:

Rotterdam_mathenesserlaan_kathedraalWednesday, 19:30: Chrism Mass
Maundy Thursday, 19:30: Mass, followed by a prayer vigil until 7 o’clock the next morning
Good Friday, 10:30: Stations of the Cross for children
Good Friday, 15:00: Stations of the Cross
Good Friday, 19:30: Service of the Passion of the Lord
Holy Saturday: 22:30: Easter Vigil, offered by Bishop Hans van den Hende
Easter Sunday, 11:00: Mass offered by Bishop van den Hende
Easter Monday, 11:30: Mass offered by Bishop van den Hende

Diocese of Breda, Cathedral of St. Anthony:

kathedraal bredaWednesday, 19:00: Chrism Mass (at the church of St. Gummarus in Wagenberg).
Maundy Thursday, 19:00: Mass, offered by Bishop Jan Liesen
Good Friday, 15:00: Service of the Passion of the Lord, led by Bishop Liesen
Good Friday, 19:00: Stations of the Cross, led by Bishop Liesen
Holy Saturday, 21:00: Easter Vigil, offered by Bishop Liesen
Easter Sunday, 10:30: Mass, offered by Bishop Liesen
Easter Monday, 10:30: Mass (at the Begijnhof chapel)

Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch, Cathedral Basilica of St. John:

264px-Sint-Jans-HertogenboschWednesday, 19:00: Chrism Mass
Maundy Thursday, 19:30: Mass
Good Friday, 15:00: Service of the Passion of the Lord
Good Friday, 19:00: Stations of the Cross
Holy Saturday, 22:00: Easter Vigil
Easter Sunday, 10:00: Mass
Easter Sunday, 11:45: Mass
Easter Monday, 11:00: Mass

Diocese of Roermond, Cathedral of St. Christopher:

kathedraal roermondWednesday, 19:00: Chrism Mass
Maundy Thursday, 18:30: Mass, offered by Bishop Everard de Jong (at the Munster)
Good Friday, 15:00: Stations of the Cross, led by Bishop Frans Wiertz
Good Friday, 19:00: Service of the Passion of the Lord, led by Bishop Wiertz (at the Munster)
Holy Saturday, 20:30: Easter Vigil offered by Bishop Wiertz
Easter Sunday, 11:30: Mass offered by Bishop Wiertz
Easter Monday, 11:30: Mass

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Afternoon reflection: Learning to do good

This morning, in the Scripture reading at lauds, God spoke to us very directly, with the prophet Isaiah as His mouthpiece:

“Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow. ‘Come, let us talk this over,’ says Yahweh. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Isaiah 1: 16-18

Following the reflections of the past few days, in which we learned that God is always eager to forgive our sins, and that He accepts us for who we really are, here He comes once more towards us. We people have done wrong, but God is the one to suggest we talk it over. And then He makes an almost unbelievable promise: no matter how serious the sin is that we have committed, He will forgive them. But, God does expect something from us in return: in essence, that we do not sin again. And here, as ever, He nows us through and through: we must learn to do good. God invites us to do so. We must take an active part in repairing a damaged relationship.

Forgiveness, although freely given by God, does not come without a price. Like we saw yesterday, we must be truly contrite for the forgiveness to be of any value; and today we learn that we must work to avoid falling for the same sin again. Jesus tells us the exact same thing in the Gospel of John (8:11): “Go away, and from this moment sin no more,” He tells the adulterous woman. She has sinned, there is no question about that. But her sins are forgiven of she’ll sin no more.

There is a n image that some people have of the sacrament of Confession: Catholics, they think, can do wrong without any problem: they’ll just confess and all is well again. Luckily, things are simply not that unjust.

Morning reflection: Your God is the true God

“Of all the peoples on earth, you have been chosen by Yahweh your God to be his own people. Because he loved you and meant to keep the oath which he swore to your ancestors: that was why Yahweh brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the place of slave-labour, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. From this you can see that Yahweh your God is the true God, the faithful God who, though he is true to his covenant and his faithful love for a thousand generations as regards those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Deutoronomy 7: 6b, 8-9

Today we begin Lent, but the reading we find in today’s Lauds, or morning prayers, is one that reminds us what God has done for us and that, through His actions, we may know that He is our God. We might have expected a more muted reading reminding us that we are to fast and abstain today. But that would be missing the point somewhat. Fasting is important, but it is a means, not a goal. One of the goals of today is indicated by the reading above: the gratitude that is God’s due.

None of us, I safely assume, crossed the Red Sea with Moses. At least not literally. But we all did so figuratively. We crossed our own Red Sea when we were baptised, from oppression into freedom, a freedom safeguarded by the Lord. The problem is, though, that we are stubborn and have a free will. So at times, we, perhaps inadvertently, cross the Red Sea once again, but in the wrong direction. For those times, few or many, that we have returned to “the place of slave-labour”, we have Lent. Ash Wednesday, at the start of that road to Easter, is that first reminder that we have taken a wrong turn, but that God “is true to his covenant and his faithful love for a thousand generations as regards those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Today, let us be reminded of the times when we took the wrong turn, off the path of God and away from His faithful love, and work to remedy the wrongs we did. But we need not be sad, because it is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing, because God once again liberates us, like He freed the people of Israel from Egypt.

Art credit: ‘The Red Sea’, by Ted Larson

Back from Bootcamp

I am back from a week (which seemed to go by far too quickly, as all such things do) at the Credimus Bootcamp. I enjoyed the hospitality of Father David van Dijk, and the company of good, intelligent and faithful friends. Many topics were discussed, both in interactive workshops and in lectures, and some may find their way into this blog in due time. But for now I will make do with a selection of photos I took over the course of the week.

My breviary lies ready for Lauds.
Decoration on the ceiling where the nave crosses the transept
Shadowplay in the north transept of the church
Our first guest speaker was Father Marc Heemels. He spoke about the Benedictine monastery of Le Barroux in France
Another workshop was about Gregorian music and its history. Here, diocesan hermit Brother Hugo takes a look at some examples of medieval music notation
Later, Brother Hugo taught us, or tried to teach us, the very basics of Gregorian singing
We had Masses in both forms of the Latin rite. Here Father Harry van der Vegt, cathedral administrator in Utrecht, offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Fr. David van Dijk was our host. Here he delivers the homily during the week's first Mass (in the Ordinary Form)
The thurible is lit, ready to incense the Blessed Sacrament
A nightly returning ritual: at the end of an hour of Adoration and Compline, Fr. David gives Benediction
A day trip on Wednesday included a viewing of many religious artifacts, including this medieval manuscript of Gregorian music
A vibrant stained glass window in the church of the Immaculate Conception in Oss, another stop on our trip
The interior of the church of St. James the Greater in the town of Zeeland
A barbecue on the penultimate night, with the weather cooperating exquisitely.
One of Fr. David's two cats says hello

My Easter Triduum, and then some

If you’re active in the Church, in whatever capacity, the coming days are the busiest of the year. I don’t expect to catch much sleep, especially around Good Friday. There have been cases where I had a full workday, an all-night vigil and another full workday, totalling over 36 hours without sleep. A minor sacrifice. 

Here is my schedule: 

Maundy Thursday
19:00: Mass. The last Mass before Easter, commemorating the Last Supper. It also includes the Washing of the Feet. The Blessed Sacrament is relocated to the Altar of Repose, as Jesus goes to Gethsemane and ultimately His death and resurrection.
20:30: Start of the vigil. With a friend I’ve organised this all-night vigil for the third time. We watch and pray with Christ in Gethsemane. The cathedral will be open until midnight, although anyone is welcome at any time. 

Good Friday
07:00: End of the vigil with Lauds.
15:00: Stations of the Cross. In fourteen stages we relive the journey of Christ to the Cross, from His conviction by Pontius Pilate to His burial. It’s always an emotional experience.
19:00: Serving at the Service of the Passion of the Lord at St. Francis. Not a Mass, since the Lord is not there anymore. We venerate the Cross, tool of our salvation, during this service. 

The Easter Vigil starts in darkness. The Paschal candle, carried here by my parish priest, Fr. Rolf Wagenaar, signifies the light of Christ, and slowly illuminates the entire cathedral.

Holy Saturday
20:30: Serving at Easter Vigil at St. Francis. The early vigil where several catechumens will be baptised and/or confirmed. Always special to be a part of that.
23:00: Easter Vigil at the cathedral. A long Mass, the high point of not just our liturgical year, but our entire existence: Christ is risen! The rituals and music are always fantastic. 

Easter Sunday
11:00: High Mass, offered by Bishop de Korte. Easter continues unabated and we still celebrate.
18:00: Mass for students. Which will be interesting because of a distinct lack of volunteers… But we’ll manage. 

Easter Monday
11:00: Serving at High Mass.